DESPITE Sikandar Raza being named the player of the tournament in the World Cup qualifiers, Zimbabwe could not go through to the 2018 World Cup. It was West Indies and Afghanistan, who qualified ahead of the hosts of other countries to the World Cup.
Further after the end of the qualifiers, the Zimbabwe Cricket board sacked a whole core of the side including the coaching staff and convenor of selectors.
Raza made himself unavailable for Zimbabwe’s international commitments until players are paid outstanding salaries and match fees
The spin all-rounder, however, made himself available for the Global Canada T20 league where he was mentored by the Australian all-rounder Tom Moody. Raza went to Canada to reignite his “spark” on the game.
In a conversation with ESPN Cricinfo, Raza said: “I stopped enjoying life, never mind cricket.”
Further, the all-rounder added “Basically my mind was in shambles. People don’t know what we went through when we didn’t qualify and how all of us were treated. Things are still pear-shaped, but at least I have got my mental toughness back. I am enjoying cricket and being with my family.”
However, the Australian all-rounder managed to put back the sparks in his cricketing quest, as Raza enjoyed his spell under the guidance of Moody. He added: “I told Tom [Moody] that I want to reignite the spark of playing and enjoying cricket again.
“The spin all-rounder, however, made it sure that he would not join the national team before he could start giving his 100% to the team. He said, “I want to only wear it when I am right 100% mentally, emotionally and physically.”
Raza’s contract suggests that his future is in the hands of Zimbabwe Cricket as the player is out of contract. “I don’t know what the future holds for me. I am out of my contract anyway,” he said.
“It was supposed to expire on July 31. I had to terminate my contract a month before, as I was not given a NOC. I am hoping there’s some form of communication come July 31.”
With the appointment of Vince van der Bijl, the all-rounder is hopeful that there is a positive communication between the board and the players ahead of their season.